Michael McGuire left his job at a coal mine and ran to the University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena. He didn’t have time to take a shower after his shift, so he was covered in dirt. However, he had to do something important: watch a basketball game with his son.
A fan took a picture of McGuire and his son as they watched the game together, and it quickly went viral. Even the men’s basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, John Calipari, was moved by the picture.
Calipari said at a press conference on Tuesday that the photo hit him “right between the eyes” when it was sent to him. The coach posted the picture on Twitter and explained why it moved him so much. “My family’s American dream began in a coal mine in Clarksburg, WV, so this picture hits home,” he wrote.
He said he wanted to give the family VIP tickets, and after asking around, he was able to get in touch with McGuire’s wife, Mollie.
From what I’ve heard, he ran to be with his son and watch our team after his shift. I don’t know who this is, but he and his family will be treated like VIPs at Rupp!!
Molly told Calipari that her husband was modest and worked hard. “This is hard work, but he makes enough money there so that I don’t have to work. And he’s a wonderful dad. Mollie told Calipari that he has done this a lot of times.
When Calipari called McGuire’s dad on the phone, the dad told the coach that when he was called into the office at work, he thought he had done something wrong. But everyone was cheering for him when he walked in.
Calipari said that McGuire wanted to be at the game so much that “he was willing to leave without showering or changing, just get in his car, and go because he got out of the mine late.”
“That wasn’t the point. He wanted to be there with his son, that’s why. The coach said, “That’s why he did it.”
Calipari said that hotels have been calling to offer rooms since the picture went viral. There are calls from restaurants offering dinners. McGuire was even offered a car by a car lot.
“Isn’t it great for a quiet, humble guy like that to know that people appreciate him and what he stands for? Calipari said. “I’m grateful for that because it’s how my family got started in this country. In a coal mine in Clarksburg, West Virginia, the American dream began.
After seeing the picture for the first time, the coach said, “This one, I’m taking care of this guy and his family.”